For the second year in a row, Ilkley Brewery has scooped two gold stars at the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste awards: this year for its best-selling bitter, Joshua Jane.

The beer, a rich 3.7% traditional Yorkshire bitter, wowed judges at this year’s Great Taste – the world’s largest and most rigorous food awards scheme which involves over 400 judges and thousands of hours of blind tasting.

Of the 9,700 products submitted to Great Taste, only 33 per cent win awards. By winning two gold stars, Ilkley Brewery was in the top six per cent; only one per cent go on to win three gold stars.

In 2012, the brewery also triumphed, winning two gold stars for its flagship Mary Jane ale as well as two for its Lotus IPA. The Great Taste awards focus solely on taste; branding and packaging are not included in the judging criteria, meaning the gold stars awarded to Joshua Jane were based entirely on the beer’s flavour profiles.

The judges commented: “Brilliant colour. A real punch of toasted coffee-like malt and earthy liquorice in the flavour. Sharp, pleasing bitterness. There is a real quality feel to this beer.”

Speaking about the Guild of Fine Food win, Chris Ives, Ilkley Brewery’s managing director, said: “These stars represent Joshua Jane’s first award success since the beer launched last year. Over the last 10 months, Joshua Jane has become our best selling Yorkshire bitter and has secured listings in Asda and Booths supermarkets. With two gold stars to add to its credentials, we have high hopes for this classic and much-loved real ale.”

On Monday 9 September, at the Royal Gardens Hotel in London, the great and the good from the world of fine food will gather to hear who has won the Golden Fork Awards and the final applause will be reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2013.

Joshua Jane’s rise to fame
Since its launch in October last year, 51,000 pints of Joshua Jane have been sold to pubs all over the UK, including all 15 Market Town Tavern sites in Yorkshire, pubs across London and it was recently on the bar at the Great British Beer Festival. The beer is currently on sale in 11 Asda stores across Yorkshire as well as 18 Booths outlets.

Joshua Jane is a nut brown traditional Yorkshire bitter made using Amarillo and Columbus hops. It has a unique character which lends itself well to food matching with dishes like beef & chorizo casserole and lighter foods like blue cheese & apricots. The beer was originally created with the help of two Leeds Home Brew competition winners, David Bishop and Matt Lovell, both from Leeds.

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